Welcome to Countryside Kids! We are here to partner with you in your child's faith development. Countryside's ministry to children and youth is an inclusive community building lifelong Christians who gather together, grow in their faith, and go into the world. We are so glad you are here!


On your first visit, plan to arrive about 10 minutes before programming begins. Head to the children's check-in area. (Look for a big "CHILDREN" painted on the wall!) When you check in, you will be asked to list a phone number so that we can reach you as needed and your child will receive a printed name tag to wear or hand to their leaders. 


September through May, our main program times for all ages is during the 9:30 worship time. Childcare (for ages 0-Kindergarten) and programming for elementary students is available during both the 9:30 and 11:00 worship. Additionally, special programming for 1st-6th grade is available on Wednesday nights. Childcare is provided for specific adult ministries as requested.

June through August look a little different and programming can vary a little each summer. A typical summer offers Children's Chapel for Elementary Students during 9:30 worship in June and August, Vacation Bible Camp for ages 3-6th grade the last week in June, and childcare for 0-Kindergarten during 9:30 and 11:00 all summer.

Special events focused on family, fellowship, and faith development are scheduled throughout the year, such as Easter Egg Discovery, Third Grade Bibles, Countryside Kids Christmas, Trunk or Treat, and Family mission project opportunities.


Sign up to receive our weekly email that includes links to this week's bible stories, a listing of activities for this week, and links to parent cues you can use at home throughout the week!  Subscribe to our weekly Children's Ministry Newsletter. \


  • Leadership: Preparing to be bold change-makers in the community
  • Acceptance: An inclusive community, welcoming all children and youth
  • Faith: Continually growing as a follower of Jesus
  • Grace: Loved and valued by God no matter what
  • Relationship: We have fun with friends while building respectful connections with self, peers, and adults.
  • Safety: We diligently attend to the physical and emotional safety of all who gather in our church community.

Learn more about Countryside Kids programs below or Contact Becky Ericson, Children's Ministry Coordinator for more information.

Interested in volunteering in Children's Ministry? Contact Becky Ericson to join our Countryside Kids Crew. More information regarding our Safe Gatherings Policy can be found here.

countryside kids registration Form

countryside kids calendar

Countryside Kids School Year Programs

Check out some of our ongoing programs and join the faith-filled fun! 

  • Small Groups for ages 3 years - Elementary School meet on Sundays from 9:30-10:30 (Sunday after Labor Day through the Sunday before Memorial Day).

    Preschool/Kindergarten* students meet in Room 203, where their classroom leaders will guide them in a Bible story, age-appropriate activities and/or crafts, and free play time. 

    Elementary students* head to Room 210 (the gathering room) for a Bible story (typically through video), snack, and a variety of games and activities that connect back to the story for the week.  9:30 small groups and 11:00 children's chapel see the exact same Bible story, but participate in different activities.


    Families of kindergarten students may choose between our early childhood small group or our early elementary small group. The preschool room includes developmentally appropriate lessons for younger children and free play time - perfect for students with lots of energy and creativity. The elementary room will be more structured, with fun games and crafts to reinforce the Bible story.


    We recognize that 6th grade is middle school in some districts and elementary school in others. Kids in this age group are invited to choose when they are ready to move up to youth group. During 6th grade, they are welcome to participate in elementary programming, youth programming, or a combination of the two. 

  • Students in elementary school are invited to join Children's Chapel during 11:00 worship (meets Sunday after Labor Day through the Sunday before Memorial Day).

    Check-in outside the education wing upon arrival at Countryside. Once checked in, elementary students head to the sanctuary to participate in opening worship. Students may sit with their family/adults or sit in pews with Countryside Kids Crew Leaders. Experiencing worship with a grown up is important for this age group, so Children's Chapel is structured to allow kids time in worship along with some time with a developmentally appropriate Bible story and fellowship time. 

    After the children's message, all students will leave and head out for Children's Chapel in Room 209. During chapel time, students will follow a monthly theme where we engage in a Bible story through a variety of activities and crafts. The 11:00 chapel uses the same Bible story as 9:30, but offers different games and activities. Parents and guardians should plan to pick students up from this room at noon.

  • Wednesdays for Kids, our mid-week programming, is available from 6-7:30pm for students in 1st-6th grade most weeks beginning after Labor Day and running through April. 

    Visit the check-in station, then head to our big gathering area (Room 210) in the upper level of the education wing (doors open at 6:20). At Wednesdays for Kids, we keep the kids moving with worship and camp-style group games from 6-6:10, followed by rotations of bells, worship, and Bible story from 6:10 -7:10. We will wrap up the evening with rotating activities (such as Lego building, games, crafts, and mission projects) in the Gathering Room (Room 210). Parents/guardians can pick their student up at 7:30pm. 

    If you have not completed a registration form for this year, please complete one prior to attending your first Wednesdays for Kids or Sunday Small Group.

    Register for Countryside Kids HERE

  • Bitty Bells is a special introduction to bells for students age 3 through kindergarten. Bitty Bells meets in 3-4 week sessions on Sunday mornings from 10:30-10:45 during the school year in Room 203. The session schedules are typically released at the beginning of each semester (September and January). 

    Kids rehearse for 3-4 weeks and then ring at the start of either the 9:30 or 11:00 worship service. 

  • Countryside United Methodist Church offers Child Care for our youngest disciples, children ages 6 weeks through 5 years old/Kindergarten. These services are provided on Sunday mornings from 9:20-noon and for some weeknight activities when arranged/requested by group leaders. Care is provided by our trained and certified staff who want to share God's love to the highest degree as they care for your children in a safe, warm, welcoming environment.


    WHAT TO EXPECT: When bringing your children to childcare, please stop first at our Children's Check-In Area just outside the education wing. If you are visiting for the first time, be sure to check in with a phone number that will be accessible, as our staff will use your check-in for contact information should they need to reach you.

    Once checked in, take your child to Room 116 where our childcare staff will be ready to welcome you. Please make sure any diaper bags or essential items your child needs are labeled. Please keep your phones on vibrate so that our staff can reach you if necessary. When worship or Sunday School concludes, pick up your child from Room 116. 

    CHILDCARE OUTSIDE OF SUNDAY MORNINGS: If not already provided during your group's meeting time, please request child care by submitting this form. Requests must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the meeting or event.


    PLEASE NOTE: This form is only for Countryside UMC Church events. Visit the Countryside Child Development Center for inquiries and further information about weekday childcare and preschool opportunities.

  • For adults who want to worship with their children, a variety of tools are available to assist children and their grown ups with the worship experience. Children are able to create their own worship bag to use in the sanctuary with coloring pages, toys and books to look at during worship. Also available at this station are noise-reducing headphones for kids sensitive to loud music.  Special worship bulletins that tie into the day’s sermon are also available for students in preschool-6th grade. A special children's message video is also shared toward the beginning of each worship service.

    We also offer a special Family Worship Room along the main sanctuary hall. This room streams the worship service and offers rocking chairs and comfortable seating for parents, along with toys, books and a small slide for children who need to move during worship. Additionally, our fellowship area includes a coffee bar with a variety of options (including hot cocoa) and another seating area where the 9:30 and 11am services are streamed.

    Changing tables are available in restrooms throughout the facility, including both the men's and women's restrooms outside the sanctuary.

Summer with Countryside Kids

Summer time looks a little different at Countryside! With people in and out of town, summer is a great time for kids to experience worship with their families and join us for all the fun of Vacation Bible Camp!

  • JUNE & LATE AUGUST.  Elementary students are invited to join Summer Children's Chapel. Kids start in worship with their grown ups or with a chapel leader. Immediately following the children's message, kids head up to the big room (210) for a Bible story and activities.  Summer Children's Chapel meets during the month of June and the last 2 weeks in August.

    JULY & EARLY AUGUST. During the month of July and the first two Sundays in August, elementary children are encouraged to experience worship with their grown-ups. Experiencing worship together is an important part of faith development, and summer gives us a great opportunity for family worship.

    School year small groups kick off and 11:00 children's chapel starts back up after Labor Day!

  • JUNE & LATE AUGUST. Preschool/kindergarten summer small group meets from 9:30-10:30 in Room 203 of the education wing during the month of June and the last two weeks of August. Kids will enjoy some free play time, along with a Bible study, snack and a couple of activities or crafts related to the Bible study.

    JULY & EARLY AUGUST. During the month of July and the first two weeks in August, preschool combines with our childcare room in Room 116. A Bible story will continue to be shared, along with  the opportunity to play under the supervision of our childcare staff.

    School year small groups start back up after Labor Day!

  • Childcare is available for ages 0-5 years from 9:20-noon on regular worship Sundays in Room 116 of the education wing. In our childcare room, children have the opportunity to play and explore under the supervision of our church childcare attendants.

    Childcare meets year round with a few exceptions or adjusted hours around Sundays with different worship schedules.

  • Students 3 years through entering 6th grade are invited to join the fun at Vacation Bible Camp, June 26-28 from 9am-noon. Kids spend the morning in age-based groups, starting with large group Bible story and worship in the sanctuary, then rotating through stations including music, crafts, science experiments, snacks, and games/recreation. Learn more.

Special Events & Celebrations

Join us for special events and celebrate faith milestones!

  • Fall Kick Off 2023 - Putt Putt Palooza.  Join us at Sports Center (10th Ave.) on Sunday, August 27, 2023 for some family Putt Putt fun! We'll meet in the pavilion/shelter at 3pm for a brief intro to our 2023-24 school year, then head out to play a round of putt putt golf.

  • Third grade students will be recognized in worship and presented with a Bible on Sunday, October 22 at 11:00am worship. Contact Becky Ericson for details. becky@countrysideumc.org.

  • Trunk-or-Treat. October 29, 2023 from 3-5pm in the south parking lot (will move indoors to the Celebration Center in the event of inclement weather). Sponsored by the Sports Ministry Team. Contact Paul with any questions, paul@countrysideumc.org

  • Countryside Kids will lead a special Christmas worship on Sunday, December 3. It will be a "Lessons and Carols" style of worship, where the kids will tell part of the Christmas story, followed by Christmas carols and music. A special guest will be joining us to share the Christmas story. Join us in the gathering area after worship for some Christmas cookies!

  • Generation 2 Generation Game Day. Join us for a church-wide afternoon of board game fun! February 4th beginning at 12:15pm lasting until 2:15 (or when you are ready to leave). Lunch provided. RSVP HERE. 

  • Countryside Kids helps lead our annual canned food drive to benefit an area agency working to tackle hunger in our community. We will be collecting canned goods before each worship service on February 4th and 11th. Kids can help as often as they would like! Interested kids should plan to meet by the welcome center 15-20 minutes before each worship service for a quick training. They will be done when worship starts.

  • Join us at this outdoor family celebration of Easter! Several stations to participate in, including an egg hunt! March 23, 2024 from 10-11:30am.

  • Students who participated in Wednesdays for Kids during the 2023-24 school year are invited to a pizza party where we will celebrate our year and tie-dye tshirts! Look for RSVPs in our weekly newsletter in late February/early March.

  • Celebrate the start of summer at a family picnic! Join us on Sunday, June 2, 2024 from 5:30-7:30 at Gage Park Steak Grill Shelter (tentative). Hot dogs, water, and plates/utensils/napkins will be provided. Last names A-L are invited to bring a side dish to share. Last names K-Z are invited to bring a dessert to share.

  • June 24-28, 2024 from 9am-noon. Ages 4 years through entering 6th grade. Students entering 6th grade and older are invited to assist with small groups or at stations! Learn more.

  • Countryside Families, Vacation Bible Camp Families, and families at the Countryside Child Development Center are invited to an evening at the pool. Date TBA in our weekly newsletter.